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UK businesses should speed up no-deal Brexit preparations - IoD warns

By Caoimhe Toman

Date: Friday 14 Jun 2019

UK businesses should speed up no-deal Brexit preparations - IoD warns

(Sharecast News) - UK businesses cannot afford to put their faith in politicians to produce a Brexit resolution so they should ramp up their preparations for a no-deal Brexit, warned the Institute of Directors on Friday.
With the date for the exit of the UK from the European Union delayed to 31 October, British business has little time left to plan for every possible outcome. Especially now since Boris Johnson seems likely to be the most likely replacement for Theresa May as Prime Minister and has already said he will not hesitate in delivering a hard Brexit.

IoD figures show that the proportion of its members who had activated contingency plans increased slightly between January and April, from 18% to 23%.

Overall however, more than half of firms surveyed had still not engaged in any contingency planning and only 4% said they would be using the extension period to pick up the pace.

UK businesses have not had much support from the government and have experienced uncertainty that has greatly damaged their operations.

Edwin Morgan, interim director general of the Institute of Directors, said: "This week's vote won't be the last twist in the Brexit saga, but it made clear how real the possibility of no deal is. Business can have no absolute reassurance that an agreement will be reached, particularly given the commitment of some Conservative leadership candidates to leaving the EU in October with or without a deal. It feels like the extension is at risk of being wasted.

"It shouldn't need saying, but many seem to have forgotten that getting a deal would be by some distance the better outcome, both for the UK and the EU. No deal is not 'clean', the mitigations announced so far are temporary, incomplete and untested with industry, and we would then have to enter into talks with the EU all over again.

"Far from providing clarity, a WTO exit simply extends uncertainty about the future, so it is no surprise a clear majority of IoD members say no deal would harm their business.

"If businesses can't have faith in politicians, that means they have to look out for themselves. With business costs rising in many quarters, and management time precious."

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